Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mascarpone Cheese (2024)

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mascarpone Cheese (1)

Mascarpone cheese doesn’t have as much name recognition as cheese board favorites like Parmesan and cheddar. But if you can’t pass up a dessert offering of tiramisu when you’re at your favorite restaurant, chances are you love Mascarpone cheese without even realizing it. This decadent cheese is a favorite among bakers, but it’s not only for baking. Once you know all the ways you can use Mascarpone cheese and learn about the depth of its flavor and versatility, you’ll always want to keep a cup in your refrigerator.

Mascarpone cheese is a soft, slightly sweet and a tad bit tart, spreadable cheese often described as an Italian sweet cream cheese. Mascarpone is probably most well-known as the key ingredient in Italian desserts like tiramisu and cannoli.

If you think Mascarpone is just like cream cheese, you’ll be surprised and probably delighted to learn Mascarpone is richer and sweeter. Mascarpone has a more velvety texture, lending it to easier spreading and opening up possibilities as both a cream cheese substitute and the star of its unique set of dishes.

But before we explore all you can do with Mascarpone, let’s take a look at how this indulgent cheese is made.

This Italian cheese originated in the Lombardy region in the Northern part of Italy, bordering Switzerland. The landscape of this part of Italy boasts large lakes and rolling mountainsides that lend to rich alpine pastures, creating some of the richest cow’s milk in the country. Here, centuries of artisan cheesemakers have created their recipes for some of Italy’s best-known cheeses, like Mascarpone.

The process for making this cheese usually involves heating heavy cream and adding citric acid to the mixture, which combines to create that signature texture and taste. Staying true to our commitment to quality cheese-making, Cello uses only the finest quality Wisconsin dairy products in our artisan approach to make high quality, delicious Mascarpone.

Mascarpone has been recently discovered by a new following of creative bakers and aspiring dessert aficionados as the star ingredient behind no-bake cheesecake. If your family and friends have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to try making some other treats with Mascarpone. Below are a few simple yet crowd pleasing suggestions for ways to showcase this cheese.

  1. Coffee topping: Keep some Mascarpone in your refrigerator for an easy and decadent addition to your morning coffee. Mascarpone topped coffee is also a great option to serve alongside dessert. If you love a routine stop at your favorite coffee spot but hate the long lines, try making this delicious Mascarpone espresso at home before you hit the road.
  2. Waffle topping: Whether you whip up homemade waffles on the weekend, or prefer a quick toaster style waffle, try topping your next one with a layer of Mascarpone and a drizzle of maple syrup. If you have guests, sprinkle some cinnamon on top or garnish with a sprig of mint for some extra flair that’s sure to impress.
  3. Peanut Butter and Mascarpone sandwich: Move over jelly, because peanut butter has met its match. Take two fresh or slightly toasted bread slices and spread one side with peanut butter and the other with Mascarpone. The result is added creamy sweetness that makes for a filling and tasty breakfast sandwich or a new take on a lunchtime classic.
  4. Straight up: Spoon some Mascarpone into a small bowl, drizzle with honey, and scatter some fresh fruit on top. This creamy and buttery cheese also makes a great dip for strawberries, raspberries, or any other seasonal fruit.
  5. Spread it on thick: Forget the butter. Scones, muffins, and cinnamon bread can all be elevated when spread with a little Mascarpone.

Just because Mascarpone is known for its sweetness, doesn’t mean it should be relegated as a dessert only ingredient. You can incorporate this cheese into a variety of dishes.

Hors d’oeuvres: Simple dessert recipes can often also double as a sweet appetizer. The tang and texture of figs pair beautifully with velvety Mascarpone for a delicious hors d’oeuvres or a spotlight addition to your cheeseboard. For an easy display, serve some dried fruits and nuts with Mascarpone on the side.

Pasta and Potatoes: Carb lovers, rejoice! Just about every Italian cheese pairs well with pasta, but Mascarpone is often overlooked as a way to elevate and add creaminess to an everyday sauce. The creamy texture creates a velvety sauce for a variety of pasta types. Just add a couple spoonfuls of Mascarpone to your traditional tomato sauce next time and watch it transform to something far richer than basic spaghetti.

Mascarpone is so versatile it can be used in a number of potato dishes, too. Combine cream cheese with Mascarpone in twice baked potatoes or your family’s secret homemade mashed potato recipe to put your own twist on a classic dish.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out all the ways you can pair Mascarpone with food and drinks, and you’ll be cheesing confidently in no time.

Find Cello Cheese Mascarpone at your nearest store here, and download our guide below to learn how to incorporate it into a cheese board display that’s sure to be a hit with all of your fellow cheese lovers.

Make Your Cheese Board

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mascarpone Cheese (2024)


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mascarpone Cheese? ›

Mascarpone is an ivory-colored, exceptionally smooth, and easily spreadable fresh cream cheese. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet. The rich, buttery texture comes from the high butterfat content (up to 75 percent).

What are some interesting facts about mascarpone cheese? ›

Mascarpone originated around the 17th century and is most commonly made with pasteurized cow's milk. The origins course back to Abbiategrasso and Lodi in the Lombardy region, in northern Italy. The cheese is most well-known as the key ingredient in Italian desserts.

Is mascarpone cheese unhealthy? ›

Mascarpone is an ingredient of some famous Italian desserts like tiramisu. Mascarpone is not the best choice for your heart health as it's one of the highest fat cheeses (44 per cent, of which 30 per cent is saturated).

Is mascarpone cheese actually cheese? ›

It is a fresh cheese that is most commonly made with pasteurized cow's milk. Unlike some cheeses, which have animal-derived rennet added, mascarpone is vegetarian. It's made by heating heavy cream and adding an acid like tartaric acid (aka cream of tartar), citric acid, or lemon juice to solidify and thicken the cream.

Is mascarpone healthier than cream cheese? ›

No, mascarpone cheese is not healthier than cream cheese as it contains 25% more fat than cream cheese. Yet mascarpone cheese is only preferred for its extra smooth texture. You can use cream cheese and mascarpone cheese for salty and sweet dishes.

How long can mascarpone last in the fridge? ›

Unopened mascarpone typically lasts for about 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator and, if sealed and stored properly, it can be extended up to a month. Once opened, mascarpone must be consumed within approximately 5-7 days when refrigerated, as it's prone to spoilage due to its high moisture and fat content.

Why is mascarpone so good? ›

Mascarpone is made from heavy cream, while cream cheese is made from whole milk. This gives mascarpone its high fat content and richer, creamier texture. The fat content of cream cheese is 30 to 40 percent, compared to mascarpone's whopping 60 to 75 percent fat content.

What is the unhealthiest cheese? ›

The least healthiest cheese overall is Double Gloucester, which contains the highest amount of calories (415 per 100 grams) and a whopping 21.9g of saturated fat – which is more than the NHS's recommended daily saturated fat limit for women.

Which is healthier ricotta or mascarpone? ›

Ricotta, made from milk and whey, is a much lighter alternative to cook and bake with; it has about half the calories and fat of mascarpone.

Is mascarpone cheese anti-inflammatory? ›

Mascarpone cheese is also a good source of magnesium which is an important mineral for our bodies, and it's been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and better blood sugar control.

Can I freeze mascarpone cheese? ›

Mascarpone can be frozen for up to four months, depending on the quality of the cheese. Freezing it properly ensure it remains fresh and delicious. Read on to find out how to freeze mascarpone the best way as well as defrosting mascarpone.

What is the closest cheese to mascarpone? ›

Mascarpone has a one-of-a-kind silkiness and a milky flavor profile but ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, full-fat cream cheese, and Requeson cheese are all similar to mascarpone cheese.

Can diabetics eat mascarpone cheese? ›

People with diabetes can safely eat cheese as part of a balanced, healthful diet.

Does mascarpone have caffeine? ›

Pasteurized milk and cream, citric acid, coffee, sugar.

What is the healthiest cheese for your heart? ›

Using lower-fat cheeses – such as mozzarella, feta, cottage cheese or reduced-fat cheeses – will provide less saturated fat. Our table at the end of the page shows how the fat content of different cheeses compares.

Why is it called mascarpone? ›

Popularly, the name is held to derive from mascarpa, an unrelated milk product made from the whey of stracchino (a young, barely aged cheese), or from mascarpia, a word in the local dialect for ricotta.

What is the history of mascarpone cheese? ›

Originally thought to have been produced about the turn of the 16th century in the region of Lombardy, mascarpone is made from the milk of cows grazed on rich pastures of grass, herbs, and flowers. The cream is heated and then mixed with either citric acid or tartaric acid, which causes it to separate.

Is mascarpone cheese from a cow or goat? ›

Mascarpone is a triple-creme cheese made from fresh cream. Traditionally, this was made from the fresh milk of cows that have grazing pastures filled with fresh herbs and flowers. The freshest milk is still the best best option but a great Mascarpone can also be made with cream from the store.

Is mascarpone sweet or salty? ›

Mascarpone is an Italian-style cheese from the Lombardi region of northern Italy made from whole cream and thickened with citric or tartaric acid. With a milky and slightly sweet flavor and tangy finish, mascarpone has a high butterfat content of 60 to 75%.

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